Although this time has come with much distress, for my family and millions of others, there are insights that can be gained.
Here is what this Covid experience is teaching me:
Grace is my friend.
I am working from home with a three year old and right before the pandemic started my Gpa’s nurse quit very dramatically (a story for a later time). I literally left my office expecting to return the next day and never did. I often wonder how the contents of my mini fridge are doing. In 24 hours, how I “managed,” had to completely change. The wonderful systems of organization and productivity I created to move through my day, were useless. Grace is the only thing that has kept me from losing my sh*t. Grace has allowed me time to process change; change in how I therapize, parent, care give, wife, and be an individual.
The meaning of grace is unmerited mercy.
You don’t need to do or be anything to be given it. It is a gift you can give to yourself, because we are all doing our best.
I was not prepared.
And I love to be prepared! I love love it. I would not call myself a “prepper” however preparation is important to me. I believe in keeping a stocked pantry, emergency supplies and gas in my car. I like planners, journals, and to do lists. So when Covid hit, we had things. But I was not prepared for how I would be affected mentally or emotionally.
As a therapist, I know what to do. I know the tools to use in crises. However accessing them for myself for the past 3 months has been challenging. I am understanding that preparation isn’t just about the stuff, it is about emotional and mental wellness as well. A question that I ask myself often is what tools are effective and accessible to me in this moment. How do I decrease my anxiety in order to get through this, whatever “this” so happens to be today.
I have been careless with opportunities.
There is nothing like not being able to socialize to really make you want to socialize. I think about the many opportunities to network, gather, rejoice, praise, and love in the company of others. I think about the many excuses I generated to not have to engage with others. “I am an introvert,” is what I would say in order to avoid social situations because I am truly uncomfortable. I’ve missed concerts, baby showers, travel opportunities, birthday parties, and more for no memorable reason other than initial physical/mental discomfort.
How many connections I missed or moments I could have experienced, I will never know. What I do know is that going forward, opportunities for betterment should not be wasted.
I need to look at these moments as gifts.
The take away:
Grace is your friend too! How can you extend more grace, love and kindness to yourself today?
Preparation isn’t just about stuff. Meditation, therapy, exercise, and engaging in hobbies are all effective coping tools you can utilize during times of crises. How can you increase your tool kit and utilize your tools more often?
There are so many virtual meetups, conferences, training’s and online games to play. We don’t need to wait to be in person to experience opportunities for connection. How can you engage with others today and make moments? Did you know you can have viewing parties of your favorite shows with your favorite people?